Rachel Wiesbrock, Assoc. AIA brings a unique perspective to the architectural field. Her experience as a person with a physical disability has fueled her passion for universal, inclusive, and accessible design.
Rachel, a member of AIA Chicago’s Equity, Diversity + Inclusion Committee, is on track to becoming an accessibility specialist in Legat’s Chicago studio. Prior to Legat, Rachel interned at a global design firm, where her projects ranged from ADA renovations and lighting redesigns to multiuse housing complexes. She also did an internship as an events assistant at the Council of Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH).
While pursuing her Bachelor of Architecture at Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT), Rachel advocated for accessible design through heavy involvement with American Institute of Architects Students (AIAS) on both the local and international levels. She served as president and treasurer for her school’s chapter, and as a member of the Equity + Diversity and Finance committees of National AIAS.
Rachel also created a short film to promote disability awareness in the built environment. At the AIAS’s annual Grassroots Leadership Conference in Washington, D.C., she gave the keynote and showed the film.
Among her graduating class, Rachel was the sole recipient of IIT’s Alpha Rho Chi Medal, which recognizes architecture students for their leadership and service and what they offer the future of the profession.
“Accessibility is so much more than a box to check off during the design process,” said Rachel. “I want to find ways to express personal experiences that will resonate with everyone why accessible design shouldn’t just be the minimum — it should be the starting point to universal inclusivity.”
Rachel’s love of architecture started when she was eight years old and her grandparents asked her what she wanted to be when she grew up. She told them math and science were her favorite classes. Her “opa” said, “You should be an architect.” Rachel heeded that advice.